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Table Tennis junior did well in the residential A Grade competition in July 1980. In the semi-finals, the unseeded pair of Bronwyn Penno and Robyn Crook defeated the second seeds of Christine McCarthy and Lynette Galt, who were seeded second. Penno and McCarthy lost the first two sets and recovered remarklably to take the final three sets and win the match. McCarthy and Galt would have been kicking themselves as they took their foot off the pedal.
This meant that Penno and Crook were facing Ngaire Garrett and Linda Penno in the final and they came from behind today to win after being down two sets to one.
Bronwyn Penno was on fire and picked up another title when she partnered with Chris Carlaw in the mixed juniors.
Chris Carlaw then picked up another further two titles with Kevin Tapper in the doubles
Bronwyn and Linda Penno and Robyn Crook were all heading to the New Zealand champs and had travelled extensively to get hard competition in preparation for the champs.
The West Plains club were excited to get their first women's senior title with Bronwyn Penno.
Ngiare Garrett won her seventh single finals and only lost one set in making her way to the final and that was to Lynette Galt in the semi-finals.
Chris Carlaw who was the current men's single champ was given a fright in the quarter finals as he found himself down two sets and really had to dig deep when he was down 22-20 to Phillip Wallis in the third set. After overcoming Wallis he went on to win the next two sets easy.
It was with excitement that the supporters were waiting for Kevin Tapper and Chris Carlaw to play in the final and they were not let down with possibly the best match of the championships. Carlaw took Tapper on playing a more aggressive and attacking game but Tapper was prepared to defend from anywhere, even if he had to go a long way from the table. any loose balls from Carlaw he punished with great timing and strength and this was probably the catalyst that gave him the edge to win.
Tapper changed his strategy in the final against Ron Garrett and kept the game tight as Garrett had won the previous four games against him. Tapper won in four sets.
Neil Tapper would not be outdone by his son in the veteran grade and won the title for the fourth time, the first being in 1970.
Kevin Todd in the juniors stood out and reached the semi final of the men's B Grade doubles, from the United Club he also reached the semi-final of the men's B Grade singles by beating Peter Jolly in the quarter finals. He lost to top seed Alan Law in a close match and he will be a better player for reaching these B Grade finals.
The mixed doubles surprised in Jonathon Geddes and Robyn Crook beating top seeds Carlaw and Penno with Geddes being a better doubles partner as it gives him the space to play away from the table and smash any loose ball that comes his way.
Geddes also showed his great skill in winning the U16 singles and doubles.
Kathryn Crooks is following in her sister's footsteps, Robyn and cleaned up the U14 and U12 events.
Table Tennis was looking strong in Southland with the likes of; William Brooks, Phillip Brooks, Peter Jolly, Stephen Cournane, Kevin Todd, Trevor Todd, Valerie Platjes and Julie Carlaw.
Reference: The Southland Times July 1980
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